|Publication number||US7478455 B2|
|Application number||US 10/755,714|
|Publication date||Jan 20, 2009|
|Filing date||Jan 12, 2004|
|Priority date||Jan 10, 2003|
|Also published as||US20040200007|
|Publication number||10755714, 755714, US 7478455 B2, US 7478455B2, US-B2-7478455, US7478455 B2, US7478455B2|
|Inventors||Lisa Ann Heim|
|Original Assignee||Lisa Ann Heim|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (18), Referenced by (1), Classifications (16), Legal Events (3)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application claims the benefit of U.S. provisional application Ser. No. 60/439,262, filed Jan., 10, 2003, the teachings and disclosures which are herein incorporated by reference.
This invention relates cleaning devices and more particularly to hand-held cleaning devices utilizing a liquid cleaning solution.
Cleaning devices such as washing machines and washboards have existed for many years. Recently, deep cleaning vacuums including various attachments (e.g., the BissellŽ ProHeat, DirtdevilŽ Platinum Force, and the HooverŽ Spin Scrub) have appeared to increase the ability of the average person to clean heavily soiled or stained items. Some of these devices have been reduced in size and are configured as hand-held deep cleaning devices for clothing. However, the effectiveness of these reduced size cleaning devices has been limited.
A new cleaning device that is hand-held and particularly well suited for use as a spot remover for clothing would be welcomed by those in the art. The new device preferably eliminates the need to manually scrub clothing, thereby preventing wetting of the entire garment during the cleaning operation. The new device preferably quickly and efficiently removes stains from clothing and similar items, and will allow the garment or item to be worn or used after a relatively short period of time, due to the fact that the entire garment is not wetted during the cleaning operation.
Other hand-held cleaning devices are known, including the BissellŽ Spot Lifter and the Dirt DevilŽ Spot Scrubber, among others. However, none of the other known commercial devices employ a combination of convenience, space utilization for compactness, functionality, as well as hand-held specific component placement and housing footprint that minimizes deadspace.
Also, it has been found that pulsing a stain with a cleansing agent provides maximum cleaning power, by using the force of a repeated jet, combined with an economy of cleaning agent, since there is not a continuous flow to the stain during wetting. Finally, it would be desirable to have a readily available backing surface wherever the cleaning device is used.
The invention herein addresses the needs described above. Disclosed herein is a hand-held cleaning device, as well as an associated method of cleaning a garment. The device comprises: a handle section having an interior and a garment cleaning solution reservoir located within the interior. The device further comprises a main section having a housing that defines an inner chamber, as well as a motor positioned within the inner chamber of the housing. The device also comprises a pump coupled to and powered by the motor, as well as a dirty fluid reservoir located at the bottom of the inner chamber. The device further includes a plurality of tubes connected to the pump and extending forwardly from the pump and terminating a plurality of solution dispensing spray jets. The device yet further includes a fan located in the inner chamber of the housing for creating a pressure differential to draw the dirty fluid material into the dirty fluid reservoir. The handle section is removably coupled to the main section. A dual-use garment support surface and cleaning device storage bag can be included to provide support to a garment during cleaning by the cleaning device and to provide storage to the cleaning device when not in use.
Other embodiments, aspects and advantages will become apparent in view of the teachings that follow, including the drawings.
The drawings illustrate the best mode presently contemplated for carrying out the invention.
In the drawings:
Before one embodiment of the invention is explained in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and the arrangements of the components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced or being carried out in various ways. Also, it is understood that the phraseology and terminology used herein is for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting. The use of “including” and “comprising” and variations thereof herein is meant to encompass the items listed thereafter and equivalents thereof as well as additional items.
The device 10 can be powered by a AC connection via cord 28, which extends through the handle and into the housing. However, other powering means or methods are contemplated and within the scope of the present invention. For example, in one embodiment (not shown) a rechargeable power pack or disposable batteries can be integrated with, so as to power, the device.
Still referring to
Still referring to
After a cleaning operation, the electric cord is unplugged and the used solution reservoir is removed and emptied of used solution. The used solution reservoir is then snapped back into place for subsequent cleaning operations. If the filter element becomes excessively soiled, the filter element may also be removed and rinsed under water or other cleaning solvents. The filter element may then be reinstalled for subsequent cleaning operations.
The housing, the handle, and the solution reservoirs may be injection molded, preferably suing recyclable thermoplastic resins. The device also preferably includes a relatively large handle, thereby facilitating use by elderly or disabled individuals.
A method of cleaning a garment in the environment of the hand-held cleaning device described herein is also disclosed. The method comprises filling the garment cleaning solution reservoir with a garment cleaning solution; drawing the garment cleaning solution from the garment cleaning solution reservoir through the plurality of tubes; applying, via the plurality of solution dispensing spray jets, the garment cleaning solution to a localized soiled area of a garment, creating a dirty fluid at the localized soiled area of the garment; and drawing at least a portion of the dirty fluid away from the localized soiled area of the garment to dirty fluid reservoir, thereby cleaning the localized soiled area of the garment. The applying step can further be defined as pulsatingly applying the garment cleaning solution. The method can further comprise interposing a material layer underneath the localized soiled area of the garment prior to applying the garment cleaning solution to the area. And the material is a part of a dual-use garment support surface and cleaning device storage bag. And the method can further comprise detaching, prior to the filling, the handle section from the main section., as well as re-attaching, following the filling, the handle section from the main section.
Methods have been described and outlined in a sequential fashion. Still, modification, rearrangement, reordering, or the like, of the methods is contemplated and considered within the scope of the appending claims. More generally, while the present invention has been described in terms of one or more preferred embodiments, it is recognized that equivalents, alternatives, and modifications, aside from those expressly stated, are possible and within the scope of the appending claims.
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|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US8883694||Apr 17, 2013||Nov 11, 2014||Rhodia Operations||Polysaccharide slurries with environmentally friendly activator solvents|
|U.S. Classification||15/320, 15/344, 15/322|
|International Classification||A47L5/24, D06F3/00, A47L25/08, A47L7/00, D06F43/00|
|Cooperative Classification||A47L5/24, A47L25/08, D06F43/002, D06F3/00|
|European Classification||A47L5/24, A47L25/08, D06F43/00B, D06F3/00|
|Sep 3, 2012||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|Nov 12, 2012||SULP||Surcharge for late payment|
|Nov 12, 2012||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4